The four containers of wheat held by customs in Berbice on Saturday remain detained and up to yesterday the shippers had not returned to clear them.
The four 20-ft containers, filled with wheat, were being shipped to Suriname but were held after the shipper turned up with only copies of the original documents and provided incorrect information. Those shipping items out of the country need to provide original documents. Stabroek News was told that the shipper was told to get the documents in order but since then, up to yesterday, he had not turned up.
This newspaper had been told that on the forms provided, the country of origin of the wheat was listed as Canada and it should have been listed as a re-export. However, the documents listed the product under a regime that says it was produced in Guyana and therefore under CARICOM’s Rules of Origin pact, it would not attract certain duties when it landed in Suriname.
This newspaper was told that the invoice showed that the wheat was purchased from Namilco. Officers became suspicious after noting the photocopied documents and the incorrect information and the containers were ordered detained. It is not clear what would happen if the shipper does not turn up but it is likely that given the limited facilities at Berbice the containers would be sent back to the city.